Friday, November 6, 2015

The Time I Failed

I wasn't really sure what to title this post, but failing seems as good as anything.

Yesterday was a hard day. I lost it, twice. 
And I mean I really lost it. The Mama Bomb went off.



Today we made our thankful tree. I got some foam leaves from Hobby Lobby (all their fall stuff is half off by the way...) and we used clothes pins to attach them to some old branches. It's not gorgeous or even Pinterest worthy; it's very Charlie Brown-esque. Every night from here till Thanksgiving, the girls add what they're thankful for. 

Big surprise, but I haven't felt very thankful lately.

 Hollow, discontent, angry, bitter, selfish, unforgiving, and moody could describe me lately.


About two-ish months ago, my oldest daughter accepted Jesus into her heart. She loves to learn about Him, read Bible stories, pray, and tell others about Him. I'm sure there will come a day when she can explain portions of the Bible better than I can. 

She's only 5 but she is learning so many things and so excited about her faith. She always wants to know the difference between right and wrong. The way she puts it is if someone does something wrong "They don't know God" which takes some explaining sometimes. 

I have to remind her we all make mistakes and need forgiveness. 

Even mommies. 


As I was reeling from my horrid behavior towards my daughter, and in subsequent Mommy Timeout, I heard my daughter crying. But she wasn't just upset Mommy had lost her temper. 

Through sobs I heard, "God please help Mommy. Please help her feel better. Don't let her act mean. Please forgive her." 

I, the adult, blew it. But here is my sweet girl embodying this verse: 

"Don't let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity." 1 Timothy 4:12 


She chose God as what she was thankful for on the first day.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Back to Couponing!

I wrote the other day about how my life has been crazy lately and I've barely had time to breathe.

Now that is very true, but there is also another aspect of why I'm mentally scattered and drained. I'm LAZY.

Which has led to our bank account suffering over the past months. Which is ironic since I'm making a little extra money now too. Am I the only one who is really bad at self-control and self-discipline? Or really anything involving said "self"?

God works in mysterious ways, right? Well as I was thinking that maybe I should change something up so we manage our money better instead of having a "whatever" attitude, my friend emailed me asking about our budget and how we save/spend our money. She specifically asked what we spend on groceries (she's like my bestie so she can ask things like that and I won't give her the stink-eye), and my answer was "Ummm I'm not sure and I don't really want to know..."

Yep, it's been bad. I knew I had to change something now to get on top of our finances again. I truly want to avoid this:


So here is what I did.

The Barter:
My friend also hates clipping coupons, shopping sales, etc. I hate budgeting. So, what do you do when you have really close friends who hate opposite things? You trade awful tasks to each other and then you both have good tasks!

True story. She made up my budget sheet, and I am going to shop the sales and find coupons for her whenever she needs to go shopping. And I'm THRILLED about doing this, while she thinks I'm certifiably insane, and she didn't seem to mind plugging numbers into a spreadsheet. She's awesome like that.

Reluctantly Using Technology:
Also, another reason our money is slowly going bye-bye is I finally broke down and bought a smartphone. I cringe just typing that.

I decided that if I'm getting this ridiculous thing that I'm going to make it worth my while and make it pay for itself. So I am using apps for coupons, rebates, price checking, etc. This dumb mini-computer costs an extra $40 a month and I've saved maybe $5 so far. Baby steps!

By the way, here is my Ibotta referral link! I have used this app for all 3 hours and am hooked. :)  I'm also using Checkout51 and ShopSavvy.

Cold Hard Cash:
I was also whining when my friend and I were discussing this. I'm a big fan of debit cards, because again I'm lazy. But if she's doing it, I should do it too...

So this morning I went to the bank, took out cash for groceries, fun, eating out, house stuff, gifts, etc. for the entire month. And then, I actually used it! This is huge people. Handing the King Soopers checker a $100 bill was really unnerving at first, but it really didn't take any longer than swiping the card and signing. Plus the guy in the aisle over did the same thing and that made me feel better.

Give me a few more weeks, but this really may be a big game-changer for me!

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Last 6 Months

Life needs a pause button.

I'm sure God half rolls His eyes, half laughs when I mention that, but I'm really thinking it wouldn't be a completely awful idea... Though that's probably why He said to rest one day a week, huh? Sigh, when will I learn?

Anyway, I remember a year ago when my first born was in preschool three mornings a week. My youngest would still take a morning nap and I would spend a good 2-3 hours relaxing, sipping extra cups of coffee, getting caught up on life (aka the latest episodes of Once Upon A Time...), doing some cleaning, some reading and Bible study here and there (I'm a work in progress with the whole "quiet time" thing), and simply soaking up the quiet.

Ahhh... the memories.

Once May-ish hit this year, I think a bomb went off in our lives. Come July, it was an atomic bomb.

My daughter's pre-k teacher warned me May is arguably the most crazy time of the year. I got a simple taste of it this year with pictures, graduations (yes pre-k graduations do count!), starting another business, and trying to finalize what we were going to do with kindergarten.

June I started proofreading for court reporters. That may be a whole other post in and of itself, but the short version is I'm slowly losing my mind, gaining time management skills, sharpening my people management skills, and daily learning more and more specific rules for legal transcripts. I had to take some time off because it got so intense there for a while and the rest of my life was sorely neglected. I spent some of that time cleaning just now and discovered I managed to lose a slipper in the past 6 chaotic months. Anyone have ideas of what to use one lonely slipper for?

And here is the craziest time frame and I'll give the Reader's Digest version. Come July our renters moved out, we cleaned up/fixed up throughout July (and when I say "we" I mean me), rented it out again for a whopping 10 days, kicked them out, put it up for sale, and sold it to someone else who's currently renting it out. My emotions were all out of whack with thinking we were keeping our house and still slightly holding out hope we'd move back some day, to it selling quickly and me having to say goodbye to our first home. Emotional whiplash. I cried a lot.

Then come September we started homeschooling. I may be completely gray by the time I'm 30.

Working for yourself, parenting, teaching, homemaking, and basic living can be so exhausting. If I ever remember to follow God's example to REST it will be a miracle. Not that these are bad things in my life, but wow have I lacked priorities and boundaries. I definitely needed that reminder.

P.S. I also got re-energized to blog more and to do more with my Mary Kay business. Will I ever learn? 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

To My Little One

Sweet baby girl, I just adore you. You light up my days, whether that be like candlelight that makes me happy or like lightning sparking out of my brain uncontrollably. What can I say? You're two and I'll let it all slide, and maybe even embrace some of those lightning moments.

You keep me occupied. You make me laugh. You love your sister like she's the best thing in the world. You hold your own in almost any situation. You are scarily smart (just like Sissy). You are typically two and stubborn, but also typically two and so cute it doesn't matter.

We're potty training you right now. I am so ready for it to be over. Yesterday and today were mostly good days, though I felt bad for you when all the potties were occupied once today and you were knocking on the doors and just didn't quite make it. Your poor little pouty face and the look of "I'm so sorry Mommy" was too precious for me to get mad.

You teach me patience. You teach me unconditional love. You teach me to stop the busy and just laugh at whatever silly face you're showing me. You make sure I clean the house at least a dozen times a day with your random wall colorings, food spills, and the like. You make sure I don't get a moment to rest in between homeschooling Sissy and the end of your nap time.

You're still my thumb-sucking baby who has her special blankie that goes anywhere and everywhere, and you let me know real loudly if I happen to put you to sleep without it. You want to be a big girl and do everything your sister does. Yet you seem content to let me snuggle you and rock you at least once a day while you close your eyes and suck that thumb, much to Daddy's chagrin.

Your words and sentences crack me up. You talk better than most adults I know and will give me full-blown speeches on things if you feel passionate enough. I love how when you want to do something yourself you say "I dood it." You love essential oils and the moment you see I have them out you plop yourself down on the floor, take your socks off and say "Oils please!" When you want your fingernails painted, as all girly girls do, you ask "You paint my hand nails Mommy?" And if you bonk your head and I kiss it you yell "Don't touch my owie!" then five seconds later ask for kisses.

You affinity for all things fashion cracks me up. You definitely did not get that from me! Mommy loves her T-shirts and jeans. Your nursery teacher at church said she liked your shoes one Sunday and you replied with "Not shoes! Fip Fops!" Now every Sunday I pick you up and your hair is done and I hear how you and talked dresses, shoes, accessories, and hair for over an hour.

You love your Papa and Nana. I only had a solid relationship with my one grandma so it's so special to me to see you love on multiple grandparents. You have also claimed their cat, Rosie, as your very own, though you very rarely will pet her.

Lately your strong will has taken over everything. It's a struggle every day for you to submit to authority on the very simplest of things. Though I struggle with that myself, don't I? It's really amazing how much your little life is mirrored in my own every single day. And how I tend to let the busyness of life distract me from those lessons.

I love you my little jabberbox and cutie pie. Big hugs and kisses from Mama Kitty to my Baby Kitten.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Is it my favorite time of the year?

Frustrated, temper lost, exhausted, sad, drained.


These words and phrases describe my past three Thanksgivings and Christmases.


I remember going into autumn as a kid. I grew up in the mountains so the aspen trees would be lovely yellow and orange, and in my opinion colorful aspen leaves are the prettiest! We'd more often than not get an early snow, making me even more excited for Christmas. My birthday is always the week of Thanksgiving so I'd be with family frequently and my parents always made sure my birthday didn't get sucked up in the busyness of turkey cooking.

Then once December hit, I would turn into this giddy little girl smiling ear to ear. My dad always had the tradition to get the Christmas tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We'd decorate the tree and the whole house that weekend and always putting on my dad's old-fashioned lights that would melt an artificial tree. We'd spend December driving to look at Christmas lights all over the place, my mom and I would bake and decorate cookies, and I always looked forward to the Christmas Eve service at church.


Oh, how things change as you lose the blissful outlook of a child to the reality of adulthood!

From Halloween to New Year's, my days consisted of single parenting, single marriage-ing, single holiday-ing. The only thing my husband came home for was to sleep. His job at Honeybaked Ham required he work a good 80-120 hours per week for November and December.

I caught myself asking if this really was my favorite time of the year over the past three years. The magic was gone, my energy was nonexistent, my stress level high with to-dos, and no one to share the special moments with other than two very young, beautiful, but needy girls. Daddy being gone and Mommy being part zombie, part lunatic took a toll on them as well and they acted out because of it, thus adding more fuel to my empty tank.

Can you relate? Do you feel the stress already mounting come November 1st? Do you dread the list of presents to buy, food to cook, family/friends to entertain? Not to mention the day-to-day activities of cleaning, child rearing, and trying to be a decent wife, friend, or simply a functioning woman?

Or are you simply alone in all of it? You may even be married, but it's possible to feel completely isolated even in the midst of a crowded room, or in this case a crowded season. You're struggling to get out of bed in the morning. You let your kids run all over you because you're just too tired to deal with it. The house is a mess because you have just had enough of life and can't take it anymore. The thought of preparing a turkey just sends you right over the edge. Buying presents makes your heart sink because it's just not in the budget.

I'm not here to give you tons of advice and write a "The Top Ten Ways to Not Dread December 25th" column. I just want you to know you are special, you are strong, you are lovely, you are not forgotten, and you are not alone.

Now even though this isn't an advice column, I'm sure there are many practical people out there, so I will briefly share what helped me get through these seasons. I prayed- a lot! I reached out to others, particularly my mom since she could stay with me and help with the kids. I found a babysitter so I could get a pedicure on my birthday. Even though it was just me, I made sure we as a family made memories. I took naps whenever I found the time. I made sure my daughters and I weren't trapped in the house so as long as the weather was good, we'd hit the library, the park, go shopping- anything to avoid feeling stuck in the house. I counted each and every blessing and wrote it down to remind myself of it later.

Friend, I hope this encourages you! Your lovely self has the same struggles as many other women, myself included. Seasons pass. Make the most of what you have and enjoy it, even if it seems impossible. Give enjoying it a try. What do you have to lose?

My husband has a new job now, so I'm hoping and praying he will actually be around. It's still retail, so you never know how that will go. Still, 2015 is actually the first year in a while I'm looking forward to it instead of bracing myself for a storm of a season.

I'm going to do my best to not brace for the season, but to embrace the season. Won't you join me?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


This is the post where I jump on the Bruce Jenner blogging bandwagon. Though, it's really not. It's just what inspired this post.

I'm not here to talk about what he did being wrong or right or whatever, though if you know me at all I'm sure you can figure out where I stand on that. That's not the point though.

I'm more disturbed on how this is affecting the people who see it and their reactions. I've seen a lot of "She's hot" and the like. And of course everyone's entitled to their own opinion.

However, I think there needs to be a wake-up call here: IT'S NOT REAL!

Okay, I said it. Debate everything else, but can we all agree on this? It's fake. The doctors who did the surgeries will tell you it ain't "all natural." It's not organic, it's not BPA-free (that I'm aware of), it's not non-GMO. K? K.

And this is where it gets dicey. I see so many women, comparing themselves to this person. Saying that he/she's hot, wishing they looked like him/her, dreaming about how they're going to look in their 60s, and shaming themselves for not looking the same.

We may as well all compare ourselves to Jessica Rabbit. I mean, she ain't real either. And she's all (by the world's standards anyway) gorgeous, sexy, put together, desirable, etc.

Why are we doing this? Why, oh why? We're comparing ourselves to people who have spent a bazillion dollars (or have a great animator) to make themselves Barbie. I have two daughters- I take this to heart like any mama bear. I don't want them to grow up confused and worried. I don't want them to think that's how they have to look and act to live life well.

If we're going to compare, why not compare our compassion? Our forgiveness? Our responsibility? Our work ethic? Our love? Our self-control? Our joyfulness? Our intellect? Our talents?

I still don't think we should go around comparing any of those things to each other. Comparing never goes well. But, being humans, we're bound to compare. So, if we are guaranteed comparers (yep, just made that word up), these would at least challenge ourselves to better ourselves on something more than a physical level.

1 Timothy 4:8 "For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come."

Can I just suggest a challenge here? How about we don't compare ourselves to each other, regardless of how "amazing" we look from the outside or how we seem to be uber-successful and able to "do it all" flawlessly. Quick note: I said "seem." Please tuck that away. No one is truly able to look perfect, act perfect, think perfect, or do perfect.

Can we compare ourselves to the only perfect person? Someone who's not on the cover of a magazine?

Can we find our self-worth in Jesus? Instead of seeing the acne, the wrinkles, the gray hair, the sags, the failures, the confusion, and the mistakes- can we see the person Jesus made? Can we see the masterpiece He created? That word, masterpiece, is translated elsewhere as workmanship:

Psalm 139:14 "Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous- how well I know it!"

Friends, He thinks you are MARVELOUS! He made you marvelous! In Greek "poiēma" means a thing that is made. God made you, specifically YOU!

I went ahead and did a search on Bible verses that show what God thinks of you. I pray you don't doubt what He sees in you any longer!

Psalm 139:17 "How precious are your thoughts toward me, O God. They cannot be numbered!" That word precious means "prized, esteemed, costly, highly valued." You, my friend, are highly valued.

Jeremiah 29:11 '"For I know the plans I have for you,' says the LORD. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'" Good, future, hope. Hold on to those words.

Zephaniah 3:17b "He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” He delights in you! He's so stinking happy when He sees you, He may just as well be giddy!

1 John 3:16a "We know what real love is because Jesus gave up His life for us." Are we all agreed that someone who sacrifices their life for ours truly loves us? No matter what? Despite our shortcomings? Regardless of how we've hurt them?

Someone needs to hear this: He didn't make a mistake with you.

Friend, we need to find our joy, our self-esteem, our self-worth in the One who laid down His life for us. Who took our punishment so we could be free. He loves you like no person ever could, or ever will. His love is endless, boundless, regardless of our actions. All we have to do is accept it.

Look in that mirror. He made a masterpiece. And He done good.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Panic Button

It's amazing I'm not morphing into a headless chicken. Really.

Let's see, in the past couple days I have been working a ton on my new proofreading business. I have been cut down in my new proofreading business. My classmates, from this class, have lifted me back up in my proofreading business after I wanted to just cry and eat ice cream for the rest of the day. I have restarted working my business after wanting to go completely crazy.

Working for yourself is hard ya'll! Worth it in the end, but hard!

What else?

Oh our car went back to the mechanic (again), we moved Talia to a booster seat, Katelyn has a toddler bed now, and our plumbing under our kitchen sink fell apart while I was washing dishes. Now I can hate dishes even more! Yay! Not to mention I'm behind on all things housewife-y, mother-y, and housekeeper-y.

And don't get me started on how far behind I am on my Bible reading. We are supposed to be done in four days! And I'm a good 5 days behind... Who gets behind on something right before they finish it? That'd be me.

So am I here to vent? Well, yeah, but not just to vent.

I want to remind anyone going crazy like me: You aren't alone, it's okay, and it will get better!

Maybe I'm just talking to myself, and that's fine with me. In that case, self, take this advice from myself:

1. Calm it down! Your self-worth is not based on others' opinions of you, how you proofread compared to others, how clean your house is, or how many fits your kids throw. It's based on what God thinks of you, and self, He thinks pretty darn highly of you!

2. Ask for help! Don't think you're alone in this world. Last I checked, there were a few billion people residing here with ya. I'm sure one, maybe even two, could lend a helping hand! I would even guess you personally KNOW one or two people who would help.

3. Press the panic button! What's that? Pray. Pray, pray, pray, PRAY! Really, this should be #1, so don't take this list too chronologically seriously. Being in constant conversation with Jesus can never go wrong.

4. Know it will work out. The floor WILL get mopped, you WILL get caught up reading, dishes WILL get done, and the kids WILL learn.

5. Get a system in place. Self, you need to ingrain this into your brain like none other.

6. Get rid of the non-importants. Give the kids to Papa and Nana and clean out that basement! Say no to things that aren't essential. Prioritize your life!

Come on, self, we can do this!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Proofread Anywhere Review

Hey friends. Many of you have asked about my new career as a legal transcript proofreader. Well, I'm here to explain more and give a review of the course I took.

Here's the short and sweet version of what I do. I proofread transcripts from depositions, examinations under oath, hearings, etc. for court reporters. They pay me.

Told you it was short and sweet! :)

Now, I grew up with impeccable English skills. My dad was a journalist for years and my mom did copy editing. I have my associate's degree in English. So this is a pretty natural fit for me! I'm always finding errors in books, online, signs, etc. I even found errors in the oh-so-popular, and oh-so-fabulous, Hunger Games books! Even amazingly huge novels like that have issues!

I never expected to use my English degree. Ever. I know so many people who don't use their degrees. For example, my dad is now a real estate agent.

So, I was definitely shocked and a little skeptical when I came across via But, I was also excited. This sounded right up my alley!

I talked to Caitlin, who founded the site, a lot. I'm sure she got real sick of me asking question after question after question. ;)  But it was so nice to talk to a real person, get quick answers, and have a real conversation with her. I decided to take her full-fledged course.

Wow. This course was not exactly what I was expecting- which is not necessarily a bad thing. I do remember asking Caitlin what she teaches in it and how much she equips you. But, wow, did I feel out of my depth real quick. Certain punctuation and grammar rules were totally different from everything I'd been taught! I kept missing things I should have caught. About halfway through the class, I had a big panic attack and was losing my mind!

But here's what's really cool: I wasn't alone. She has a Facebook group set up and I was able to ask questions to several different people. I saw, and still see, others getting frustrated like me. And it's all okay! So she not only teaches this class, she creates this community to better each other, better ourselves, and support each other.

This is a hard class. It's not a quick-and-easy thing you can do in an hour. It requires an amazing eye for errors, it requires hard work, it requires time, and it requires humility. Really, I went in thinking it wouldn't be "that bad." I don't think I would call it "that bad" now, but it was kind of shocking (and very humbling!) to realize how much I had to learn from scratch.

Now, I am much more confident in my skills. I still tend to do things my own way, but that's okay. I now have a much broader scope of proofreading skills, and a sharper eye for legal transcripts in particular. I learned some things about me that I never thought I would, like how I now despise hyphens with a passion and that most reporters ignore the Oxford comma, which just makes me twitch a bit. (If you don't know what an Oxford comma is, I would say be grateful because it tends to induce twitching.) Some things you just gotta let go... woosaw...

I am very thankful my frugal self stumbled upon this course. It's challenged me in so many ways, grown me as a person as well as my skills, opened my eyes to this whole new legal world, and (hopefully!) will allow us to do some things we can't do right now (hello private school!).

Thank you, Caitlin, for this course, and everyone for letting me bother you day and night. I'm excited to see what it turns into. (Wait... in to? LOL just kidding...)

Friday, May 15, 2015

We're Homeschooling! (Yipe!)

It's been forever since I wrote on here... I guess that tends to happen when you get busy, exhausted, and repeat that cycle.

I've wanted to write about this for a while though- homeschooling!

Yes, we're doing it. I won't say for how long we're doing it, but for Kindergarten at least. I'm not sure anything makes me more excited, terrified, dreadful, confused, and anxious as this. I'm going to need prayers!!!!

I get asked a lot as to why we're doing it and there are so many reasons. They include the flexibility,  being in control of what she's learning, me hating Common Core, challenging her on-on-one, and sleeping in (hehe...). Seriously though, she is so stinking advanced with reading that she blows my mind every day! I think she started reading on her own a month ago or so Not to mention I am SO excited to go on field trips that I plan out and have them be a mini-vacation!

I told my husband straight up that if I commit to this I'm doing a one-day-a-week program. I need that one day badly... I researched several places and wasn't super impressed by any.

This is where the story gets crazy! One day on our way home from preschool, my daughter asked to go a different way home. Note: in nine months of going to preschool, we have NEVER gone this way before. But I figured what the heck, so I let her navigate home, and we happened to pass the Christian school by our house. Their marquee out by the street had a sign that said "Homeschool Program" and I just about wrecked the car in excitement.

I cannot tell you how many times I've driven by that school and not seen that sign. I haven't seen it since either. Talk about some Divine Intervention!

So, I came home, and immediately emailed them to get more information. I was able to schedule a tour two days later, and completely fell in love! So did my daughter- she didn't want to leave LOL! She will still get a Christian education, it's close to our house, and it's not nearly as expensive as full-time Christian school. Personally, I'd love to put her in there full-time, but holy moly private school is pricey!

That's all the good news so far! We're so excited about this. I'm still worried over her being at home six days a week, us butting heads, getting bored/cabin fever, or just slacking off and not doing anything for a year. Preschool has been an enormous blessing, so doing something different has me nervous! In other words, please PLEASE pray for me!!